Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A Colorado man has been hit with a summons to appear in court after he admitted to stealing copies of a local newspaper.
Paul Choate, 41, has received a citation for petty theft for stealing more than 200 printed copies of the Ouray County Plaindealer from a dozen racks in the area, the newspaper said in an online article Saturday.
"Someone didn't like this edition of the Ouray County Plaindealer," co-publisher Mike Wiggins said on social media on Thursday, the day the thefts occurred. "Guess which article."
The newspaper had reported the account of a 17-year-old girl in the town of Ouray who said she was raped more than once at the home of the town's chief of police, Jeff Wood. Three suspects were arrested for her alleged rape, including the chief's stepson Nate Dieffenderffer.
"So they stole nearly every newspaper out of our racks in Ouray County. If you hoped to silence or intimidate us, you failed miserably," Wiggins said Thursday. "We'll find out who did this. And another press run is imminent."
In its online article, the newspaper reported that investigators tracked Choate down using surveillance footage. He owns the restaurant Kate's Place in the nearby town of Ridgway.
Choate reportedly admitted he took the newspapers because of the front-page story. The newspaper reported that it was not disclosing Choate's relationship to the sexual assault case and that the theft was not tied to the defendants in that case, their families or the local police department.